Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Best Food I Had in Italy

I had two particularly memorable meals in Italy.  Thanks to the LMM for taking the pix.

The first was in Milan.  Just some simple rustic trofie pasta, and pesto.  Outstanding.



The second was in Venice.  Cuttlefish in a sauce made from...its own ink. With polenta. It took an act of will to take the first bite (the "ink sauce" is really thick and...well...inky), but it was delicious.


Monday, May 25, 2015

HItler Finds Out Grad Student Coauthor Faked Data

With thanks to Mr. Overwater....this may be the best of the "Hitler Finds Out..." genre.  Full of inside references.  Nicely done.


Friday, May 22, 2015

This is exactly the problem with our government

“Think about it. I’ve spent the last six and half years yanking this economy out of the worst recession since the great depression."

~Barack Obama


Wow. I can't believe he actually said that. It's amazing and quite revealing.


Some thoughts:

I bet his back and hammies are KILLING him!

The economy actually came out of recession in June of 2009, so I'm not sure exactly what BHO has been yanking on the last 5 years.

Seriously, how to read this? One way is to say that fiscal policy and regulation control the economy and BHO has done a terrible job of yanking (or blame it on some other incompetent yankers like the damn Republicans). Another is to say that fiscal policy and regulation has very little to do with cyclic swings in the economy and BHO has been yanking in vain for 6.5 years!

I lean toward the latter view.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

College is Biased

Angus did a pretty good job of explaining how colleges seem to have chosen a side in politics.

But there is a concern that goes beyond this.  I'm talking about the bias (and thanks to concerned reader WEH for sending this clip!) against students who are lazy and uninterested.  Here's the (scary) report:

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Questions with easy answers: Higher Ed Edition

Salon asks the following: Why does the GOP hate college? and blathers on and on without ever once touching on the very simple answer:

Because "College" hates the GOP!

People, this is just basic, basic politics. An overwhelming majority of college professors are liberals. They vote for and contribute to the Democratic Party almost exclusively. It is widely perceived that professors spend much of their time inculcating liberal ideas into their students' unformed brains.

The reason the GOP hates college is the same reason why they hate Unions. Both are bastions of support for the Democratic Party.

It's amazing to me that liberals can't or won't see this. College professors and administrators backed the wrong side (at least for now). They didn't play it down the middle. They put all their eggs in one political basket and now, hey, payback's a bitch.

Of course, this is a shame because a college degree has perhaps never been more valuable. It is truly amazing that, even as the share of young people attending college rose steadily, so did the college wage premium.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Non-Mungerian Podcastrianism

Yes. I'm pretty sure she'll get sued, but Mrs. Angus has done a podcast that does not involve Mike Munger (except for the fact that it was his generous invitation for us to sabbaticate at Duke for a year that lead to her book project)!

From the New Books Network comes a lovely 62 minute podcast of Marshall Poe interviewing Robin about her new Cambridge book (now out in paperback, people)!

Here's the link. Enjoy.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Negrotown

I tend to like "humor" where after a while you are thinking, "Wait.  Is this even funny?  Or is it offensive?  And am I the one being made fun of?"  Like, this, for example.

Because frankly I deserve to be made fun of.

Anyway, courtesy of Jackie Blue, Key and Peele in "Negrotown."

 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Things are getting better, not worse: Higher Ed Edition


Yesterday I read what could be the worst op-ed ever.

People, you know it was in the NYT!

Allow me to summarize the creepy, illogical, smug, moralizing of one, Mark Baeurlein

In the old days students idolized and hung out with professors, and the wise professors counseled them to live well.

Now students have little contact with professors, so they have reverted to their baser instincts and only care about money, while the professoriat simply pats them on their greedy heads and gives them undeserved good grades.


But there are just a few holes in the argument (hard to believe, given that the author is a english prof at Emory).

First off while he gives statistics about "low" (25% of seniors never talk to a prof outside of class) professor contact in the current era, he only uses anecdotes from himself and his buddy Todd to argue that, in the good old days, things were very different. Not exactly a convincing argument.

Then he goes back to the data, showing that in the late 60's many more students said they cared about “developing a meaningful philosophy of life,” than they did about  “being very well off financially.”

Today the numbers are reversed.

So far so good, but then Baeurlein implies that the sea change has come from the "fact" that students no longer hang out with profs after class!

Really!

Never mind that he hasn't proven that case, what about the simple fact that many more people and different types of people go to college now than in 1968?

In other words, perhaps we should consider that the change in the volume and composition of college students caused both phenomena that Bauerlein decries (to the extent that they even exist at all).

In 1972, 25% of people between the ages of 18-24 were enrolled in degree granting institutions. In 2012 the percentage was 41%. Colleges moved from a preserve of the elite to embrace a much wider economic and social demographic. Hispanic enrollment rates went from 13% to 37%, while rates for African-Americans went from 18% to 36%.

Bauerlein's good old days were elitist and kinda racist. But hey, at least the profs had disciples and were revered and the students didn't care about money. Because that's what really matters.